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the perfume of roses loaded the air ; when the old house will stand under round the shaded ponds, where the the shadow of such a gloom as never swans that knew her call were rest- overspread it before. Speak not of ing on the still waters ; down through the future, wind of the summer night; bosky dingles, and up over green breathe no whisper of coming events. slopes. Farewell, loved scenes---fare- Come out, pale stars, and shine softly; well! Neverinore can you be what let peace reign while it may. Tell you once were, in the eyes of her not of shame or woe, or wailings of who breathes her adieux in the twi- agony, that might make the woods light hour !
and the walls of the old house tremble. But this parting is not for ever, Tell not of retribution, or stricken Lizette. The dark weh is progressing conscience, or heavy punishment. steadily and surely, deterinined to Let the gentle mourner take her wind itself round many people. You farewells quietly. Raise not the veil will yet again be at Meiklam's Rest drawn over the future.
IRISH MAGIC IN THE DAYS OF CORMAC.
From descriptions entering more or the history of the Jews that such less into detail, and from various was the case among them, and that allusions in the works of writers in it was not until the establishment the ages of classic and romantic li- of the Christian faith that the oracles, terature, it is possible to acquire some sham or diabolical, became dumb, notion of the processes used by im- and demoniacal possession ceased. patient folk of all times for the pur- So the real conditions and character pose of learning their future misfor- of sorcery in the pagan times of our tunes, of obtaining present advan- own history being now unattainable, tages for themselves, or of inflicting we have nothing for it but to exills on their enemies. We have al- amine what our poets and romancers ready examined some authorities in have left us on the subject, and enre magicâ in general, and laid the deavour to secure the few grains results before our readers, and in a discoverable in the quantity of chaff late paper, gave in little, several they have bequeathed us. old Celtic tales characterized by su- Some notions of the modus opepernatural agency.
Absolute cer- randi of druids and sorcerers may tainty as to the exact mode in which probably be obtained by comparing the deified influences of nature were accounts left in different legends, invoked by our forefathers, cannot and making allowances for poetic now be attained. No historian or colouring and invention. divine has bequeathed any reliable Omitting from present considerinformation on the subject. We are ation the undoubtedly ancient ficobliged to depend on what the old poets tions preserved in our colleges and and story-tellers have said, and they libraries, there are several which, were as likely to invent modes and after many oral deliveries were comforms of action as to relate what was mitted to parchment from the sixth handed down to them. It would be to the twelfth centuries, and cona satisfactory thing if we could get tinued to be thumbed and abused at the genuine proceedings of a druid till they were quite worn out, copies or fervent worshipper of the Celtic being taken in most cases before the divinities, when calling on one “ doom of future destruction” came other of them for information or as- on them. Nearly every transcriber sistance. The satisfaction, at least, adopted the orthography used in his of the more credulous would be in- own day, and the original poetic creased by knowing whether evil form often degenerated into prose, powers were permitted or not to re- some of the best remembered metrispond to these calls in any way, and cal passages still standing in relief interfere with operations in the phy- like deep-coloured fairy rings in sical world, or events in the social low-lying meadows. order of things. It is intimated in This modification of the original
work might have thus taken place. and the delights of the play hours of As the poetic tale was learned in rustic school-days. Whither have succession by story-teilers of various they vanished? No doubt, not in the gifts, and as every one of the pro- current of an export trade. They fession was obliged to be qualified have been simply worn out in the to recite from fifty to three hundred service, or perished by attrition. and fifty such, it was but natural So, in pronouncing on the antithat the exact phraseology of por- quity of any poem or prose story tions of the narrative should escape attributed to Oisin, or Fergus, or Cahis memory. In this case he would oilte, we must not be influenced either ciothe the substance of the by the water-marks of the paper vanished part in verse of his own nor the hue of the ink, but by the composition, or relate it in homely character and local colour of the tale; prose. Even after the poem had and if we find united with other been taken from the precarious cus- qualities, a spirit thoroughly destitody of the Scealucht's memory and tute of Christian morality and moconfided to the surer keeping of ink dern colour pervading the work, it and parchment, thorough integrity may afford good grounds for attricould not at all times be calcuated buting a hoar age to the literary on. Copies would be lost, or worn relic. out, or torn, and where new ones And it may be remarked that in were undertaken, gaps would occur these Celtic fictions, as well as in the in the poetry, to be filled in by the people's stories, current through all inferior material. This accounts for Europe, the Christian element is althe motley appearance of many together absent, or very sparingly inof the remains of old-world ro- troduced, and everything supernatural
The manuscripts of popu- deeply tinged with magic hues. No lar lays and romances never printed, stories connected with the fortunes of can seldom boast of great age. The the early Christian kings; no spiriteditors of the Ossianic remains have stirring tales of victories by Christian not claimed for the manuscripts used knights over the fierce heathens of in the publication a higher anti- Lochlann, have come down to the quity than various periods of the successors of the old Irish storylast century. Even printed books tellers. No professed Bolg an T-Seanof folk-lore and cookery, are rarely chais (budget of stories) can find met of the venerable age of sixscore after the closest search into the botyears.
toin of his satchel, a single legend Cæsars, Sallusts, and Tacituses in embodying any episode of the early 24mo, and published by Louis and struggles with the Anglo-Normans. Daniel Elzevir, are somewhat rare. Where did there ever live a Blue Still they are to be met with in the Beard, or ogre, or truculent tyrant, libraries of collectors; but if any of that could match Murrogh the our savants have in his library a Burner in acts of savage desolation ? copy of the cookery book published yet, he is scarcely remembered in the by these estimable printers in 1633, traditions of the peasants, much less he possesses a treasure which we in their fireside stories. So, the conknow, on the authority of Alexander clusion to which we have come, and Dumas, that Charles Nodier, after to which we wish to lead our readers, unheard-of researches, was glad to is, that the popular relics of Celtic obtain at an outlay of three hun- story extant, as well as the general dred francs. There are few literary collection of the folk stories of the curiosities that grace the stails or different countries of Europe, have old-book shops in this our city of come to us modified and corrupted Dublin, unknown to us, yet we have from early and pre-Christian times. not discovered_for years a copy of It was our intention, as in the for
Reynard the Fox,” “Irish Rogues mer paper of the same character, to and Rapparees,”
“Don Belianus of give in abstract a few of those old Greece, “ Laugh and be Fat," wild legends of which magical action “ Lady Lucy,” or the “Battle of formed a part. But we became inteAughrim," printed by Jones and Wo- rested, whether we would or no, in gan in the end of the past century the story first taken up ; and when and beginning of the present one, it came to an end we found there was VOL. LXIII.--NO. CCCLXXVI.
no room for more. The manuscript was a man of expediencies, as well as which the writer has in some portions the monarch of Ithaca, and would do literally copied, and which in others a little evil to produce what he looked is given in an abridged form, and with on as a great good ; but this failing as close an imitation of the style as is here magnified in the same ratio could be effected, has been obligingly as the other adjuncts of the story. lent to him by John Windele, Esq., We have met with no old Celtic of Cork, to whom he as well as other tale that deals with druidic practices labourers in the fields of old Irish (whether truly described or not, who literature, has to record his obliga- can say ?) so largely as this. One cirtion. When are we to see the Algal- cumstance is pretty certain, that the lamh na Seanoruch (dialogues of the bona fide addresses and spells made sages), which has been so long pro- to their divinities by the old priests mised to the members of the Ossianic were couched in metre; and that Society, edited and annotated by Mr. oftentimes successful results waited Windele ?
on their incantations-- results proceedThe tale, as will be felt, is suf- ing either from their knowledge of ficiently wild and extravagant, but is, natural philosophy, or from permitted nevertheless, provided with a sub- assistance given by the powers of stratum of fact. King Cormac did evil invade Fiacha Muilleathan, with little But it is time to enter upon the or no reason or justice on his side, and story; the title of which, translated, suffered a severe defeat, and the good is the “ Victory of the Hill of BellowFiacha was afterwards treacherously ing Oxen,” the locality being in the slain as described, and in the locality neighbourhood of Limerick. mentioned. The original inventor of the tale was evidently a Munster man.
Popbuis Opoma "Damgoire. He does not, by any means, allow due honour to the King of Leath Conn, In the reign of Cormac, one of the who was one of the wisest and most wisest of ancient Irish kings (wise capable of the kings that sat at Tara. after the fashion of Ulysses, be it His life has only to be told with some understood), and in the third century ability, to be as interesting as a ro- of our era, a cause of quarrel arose
Some of its episodes will between him and the king of the probably be furnished in the UNIVER- southern part of the island (t.e., all SITY at some convenient season. He to the south of the Eiscir Riadha* composed a body of wise instructions connecting Dublin and Galway). for the use of his son Cairbre, who This King of the South, Fiacha by succeeded him, and appears to have name, was born on the same day with died a believer in one God, while Cormac. Their fathers, i.e., Eeogan. all about him were pagan poly- of Munster, and Art the Melancholy, theists. It is said that his chief were slain on the same day, in the druid brought him an idol, and re- bloody battle of Macroom, fighting quested him to adore it. On his refu- side by side against Mac Con the ally sal he took it away, but soon returned of the foreigners. The two princes, with it again, having first dressed it of whom our tale will treat, were up in the most magnificent manner. relations; and both were born after On the king giving another and a the death of their fathers. Yet these inore decided refusal, he finally with circumstances did not prevent one drew; and blame is laid on him and from making war on the other. The his brother druids for the death of causes and the circumstances of this Cormac, which took place shortly war being differently related by the afterwards. He was dining or sup- dry annalists and by the poets, we, ping on a Boyne salmon, at Sighe for obvious reasons, take the latter Cleithig, and one of its bones, either pleasant authorities for our guides. left to itself, or influenced by a Not having seen in any of our druidical charm, settled across his museums coins stamped with the throat, and caused his death. He effigies of Cormac the Wise, we do
* Eiscir, a low ridge, remains of which may be traced from the Green Hills near DabJin to the shores of Galway,
not suppose that he had his hand Munster for his cattle-spoil, but Irish often in his pouch for the purpose of and Gaulish monarchs enjoyed but flinging money to bard or soldier. very limited authority over their However, he was no gainer by the farmers or fighting men.
So he was absence of a circulating medium. obliged to convene his J'laiths (chiefs) Cloaks, drinking-cups, shields, swords, and Urmaidhes (tributaries), and serving-women, and cows, were known propose the subject. By their counto be in his possession; and at a time sel, he despatched Tairreach the Tr when he was almost as poor, by reason veller and Bearraidhe the Rover to of the liberality imperatively exacted Cnoc Rafsan, near Cashel, then called from every king and chief, as one of Tulach na Righ (hillock of the his poorest bodachs, there came into kings), the regal abode of Fiacha. his presence Mainne, the keeper of These worthies demanded, with all the royal herds; and, at the instiga- suitable ceremony, that fifty cows tion of Crom or Moloch, he asked the with silver horns, as well as the tridistressed sovereign for a present of bute of a province, should be forthcows, more in number than I care to with forwarded to King Cormac at mention.* “ Where am I to get them, Tara. Fiacha called his chief people you son of a short-horned bull," said to him, and stated Cormac's demand. the perplexed king ; and why did He then betook himself to his griàyou not apply before my yearly tri- nan (sunny chamber), or his garden, butes were dispersed ?" "Saying this, leaving refusal or acceptance to the he retired into his inner room, and decision of his “best men,” At the remained there studying wisdom for proper time, he re-entered the hall three days and three nights, without of wise counsel, and asked the result anyone to interrupt him.
of their consultation. “To the king At the end of that uncomfortable at Tara," said they, “we will (seeing period, Mainne,f the keeper of cows, that he is in a strait) make a gift of disturbed his solitude. Cormac, a cow from every lis in Munster; said he, “is it what I have asked but the value of a goat's ear we will that grieves you ?" " It is, indeed," not pay as tribute. “ Had you come was the answer. "Then, by your to another resolution,” said the king, hand, my king, I will soon relieve “I would never again lead you to you. Have you made the circuit of battle, but go and dwell amongst a Erinn?” “I have not." “Well, I strange people. But, Jest these should have ; and out of the five provinces, prove unauthorized messengers, we the two that belong to Fiacha Muil- will send our decision to Cormac, son leathan give you but the tributes of of Art, by Cuillean the Swift and one; and Fiacha, that rules them, is Leithrinde the Robust.” the successor of Mac Con, son of The swift and robust messengers Mac Nia, son of Luacha, who slew having reached Tara, stood in the your father in the field of Macroom; king's presence, and said, and my advice is, that you demand sovereign of Leith Conn, Fiacha, king of the King of Leith Mochat that of Leith Mocha, desires to know if unpaid tribute.” 'Blessings on you, Tairreach the Traveller and his comMainne; that is a just demand. You panion have been authorized by yoų are no longer son of the bull, but son to demand," &c., &c. The result of of good counsel.”
the debate which ensued was a deSo eager was the embarrassed king claration of war. to discharge his debt to Mainne So Cormac summoned the five chief that he would, without further cere- druids that nad spoken true prophemony, have incontinently invaded cies through the reigns of Conn, Art,
* It may seem rather strange, that a cowherd should ask a present of cattle, but it is probable that some great claim was made on Corrac's hospitality at the time, and Mainne merely appealed to his master to find ways and means to get out of the difficulty.
† In Irish words c and g have uniformly the hard sound, and final vowels are always pronounced
I Con of the Hundred Fights came off worse in a few. Some years before this incident in the life of his grandson, Cormac, the eisсir before mentioned extending east and west across the centre of the isle, was set to divide his northern domain, Leath Conn, from that of Eogan the Heberian, King of the South, whose portion was called Leath Mocha,
and Cormac-namely, Cithach, Cith- and the whole people of a province mor, Cecht, Croda, and Cithrnia, and shall fall before them.” So Cormac be bade them prophesy in truth what went with the lady into the sighe, should be the result of the expedi- and staid there three days, and was tion. They asked for time; and they bound in favour to her druids, men went into the depthis of their know- and women, and no more regarded ledge and learning, and revelations the true revealers of secrets, Cithach, were made to them, and they were Cithmor, Cecht, Croda, and Cithrua. brought one by one before Cormac- So Cormac, taking with him the viz., Cithach, Cithmor, Cecht, Croda, three druidesses - Eirgi, Eang, and and Cithrua, and all their prophecies Eangan, and the two druids, Colpa pointed to the one result. These are and Lurga, proceeded southwards. some of the verses they recited before The first evening, they set up their the king's seat:
tents in Cluain, and the next at Ath
na Nirlann; and at the dark shades * Cormac, son of Art, unjust is the claim.
of evening on the third day, they Make not your bravery known for the
reached Formaoil na Fian.* The sake of a herdsman. It is not just to press on freemen
fourth resting-place was Ath Cro, and With warriors of the same race.
the fifth Imluich Iban. Sad to enter the land of Mocha.
On the first evening, Cithrua went Mouths will whiten, ravens will belch." forth from the camp, and an aged
druid, the chief one of Leinster, stood But Cormac would not be turned on the far bank of the stream, and from his purpose. And as he was questioned him about the host and hunting near the sighe (fairy hill) of its chief; and he answered him in a Cleithig, his dogs swept after a hare poem, bewailing the loss that was which just rose before him, and a fog, awaiting the king and the men of dark as night, surrounded him, and Leith Conn from the terrible druid, deep sleep fell on him, and through Mocha Rua, of the western island, his slumber he was enchanted with Mocha Rua, most sage and powerful the sweet music of the cuishliona enchanter within the four seas. (bag-pipes). It was the two beautiful But the ers of wood, the meshands of the daughter of the king of sengers, and the charioteers, heard the Sighe of Bairce that he first saw the druids conversing, and foretelling when he awoke from his drowsiness. evil, and they told the king. Go, Her gown was of gold thread, and said he, “kill the strange druid, and over it hung a beautiful mantle; and beat the other till there is but a little the first words that came from her of the life in him.” So they adred lips were a reproach to Cormac vanced to where the sages had been for hunting a hare, instead of the talking; but Cithrua passed through wolf, or stag, or wild boar. “But," them, armed and equipped as a fightsaid the maiden, “ I know what is ing man, and the stranger, Fis, son nearest your heart, and I will supply of Aithfis, turned his face thrice on you with three female druidic cham- the hust, and he breathed on them a pions, Eirgi, Eang, and Eangan, powerful spell, and every man's apdaughters of Maol Miscadach. Each pearance became even as his own at has the fight of a hundred, and they the moment--that is to say, aged and are in the forms of three gray sheep, gray-haired. Then each began to with bony heads and jaws of iron. strike with his fists the man before None can escape from them, for they him, imagining him to be Fis, son of are as swift as the swallow, and all Aithfis, till there was not a man of the swords and axes in the world the great force that was not bruised could not hurt them.
And moreover, for the love I bear Now Cormac, beholding the conthee, I will give thee the two re- fusion and hearing the cries, renowned druids, Colpa and Lurga, proached Colpa and Lurga for their sons of Cicul. They are gifted with negligence; and they blew the breath all knowledge; they are invulnerable, of druids on the host, and they played
* Formaoils are supposed to have been hospitals for the ancient militia of the Fianna Eirionn.